Thru-Way BladeMaster: New steerable extendable trailer

07 May 2008

The steering system, based on technology from VSE in the Netherlands, was on display at ConExpo to s

The steering system, based on technology from VSE in the Netherlands, was on display at ConExpo to show its ease of operation and its reliability

Thru-Way Trailers from Canada takes a new approach to the North American market by introducing its new steerable BladeMaster extendable trailer, equipped with top-of-the-line European technology.

For almost 40 years Thru-Way Trailers from Milton, Ontario, Canada has been manufacturing heavy, specialized and purpose-built trailers, including double drops, jeeps and multi axle extendable trailers. At ConExpo in March, Thru-Way introduced its latest development, the BladeMaster, a 2-axle steerable and extendable trailer especially aimed at carrying long windmill blades across North America. When closed, the BladeMaster is 53 feet long. Once fully extended, the three-stage central beam takes overall length of the trailer up to 128 feet, 6 inches. The trailer is equipped with 255 70R tires, which offer a rear deck height of 47 inches and a front deck height of 55 inches over the neck.

A remarkable feature of the BladeMaster is its steering system, based on the Active Steering Metrics (ASM) and Electronic Trailer Steering (ETS) designed by VSE from the Netherlands, a leading-edge trailer systems engineering firm. Thru-Way claims that because of ASM and ETS the BladeMaster is lighter, safer, more adaptive and cost efficient than traditional trailers.

The systems allow optimum steering and maneuvering, improving its capabilities especially on side and on site roads. As the truck turns, a signal is sent through the king pin sensor that indicates the radius needed by the rear axles to curve around the corner. This allows for tighter radius for turning than traditional blade trailers, according to the manufacturer.

The VSE steering technology, which is for instance also used on all European steerable Mercedes trucks, is designed around a software program that can be modified easily to meet individual transport needs. The custom-made ASM technology is a fully dedicated, microprocessor controlled, electronic over hydraulic steering system. In addition, the system provides for a hand held remotely controlled unit that overrides the king pin sensor if independent steering and maneuvering is required. It is also equipped with a built-in diagnostic system that displays automatic calibration routine results, diagnosis and driving parameters.

Another remarkable development was revealed by Thru-Way, together with their Norwegian partner Vang, which was also present at ConExpo. In a joint-venture both trailer manufacturers worked on the design of a new modular trailer system aimed at the US market for specialized carriers and the windmill industry. The preliminary design features include a basic three-axle lowbed that can be transformed in steps by adding three-axle modules, into a 12-axle trailer with a capacity of around 100 tons.

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